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Attempt to Stop GM Canola Fails by Vote 24-26

Fremantle MLA Adele Carles has made an impassioned plea to the government to reverse its decision to allow GM canola to be grown on a commercial scale in Western Australia this year.

Ms Carles rose in Parliament yesterday to speak in support of a Disallowance Motion to the Legislative Assembly to ban GM canola crops. Labor and the Greens wanted to keep the moratorium on GM in place in WA.

“The vote was lost 24-26 last night, so GM will be a reality in WA – we are risking our clean green status. Several Liberal MP’s voted for GM canola, despite the fact they had major reservations about it. It’s a sad day for our democracy when party politics dictates an issue this important – we are talking about the future safety of our food supply” said Ms Carles.

“In last year’s large scale GM canola trials of 52 plantings, there were 11 incidents. There trials were called a success and paved the way for the lifting of the ban on GM. There is no way that these trials can be called a success – the evidence is that the failure rate was 20%. This is despite the strict scientific conditions that were placed on the trials – how are farmers in the real world dealing with time and cost pressures supposed to manage this?” asked Ms Carles.

“Segregation of GM and non-GM seed is impossible. It is inevitable that there has been and will continue to be contamination.”

Ms Carles said the government has conceded that segregation is impossible.

“It is misleading for the government to say that this decision gives growers added choice. It does not. Growers and consumers are really only being offered a choice between canola with lots of GM content, and canola with less GM content,” she said.

The Fremantle MLA said there is also the argument that GM canola does not make sense economically.

She said the trials failed to show any improvement in yields from GM canola.

“If farmers are making decisions based on economics and they compare non-GM to GM varieties, they will see the numbers are not adding up,” Ms Carles said.

Ms Carles said she wants Western Australia’s clean green image and marketing status protected.

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